Germ Prevention Strategies
Did you know that your child's immune system is less mature than yours, which makes them more susceptible to diseases? Germs and sickness are always around us, and there are many steps you
can take as a parent to decrease the chance of your child contracting the disease. One of the most important steps to decrease the risk of disease is by simply washing your hands and your child’s hands with warm water and soap. Frequent hand washing can lower the risk of spreading the infection to others. Your pediatrician also offers other strategies to help prevent germs from spreading, including the following:
- Encourage your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue or onto his/her sleeve.
- Discourage your child from covering his/her mouth with hands while coughing.
- Throw away tissues immediately after each use by throwing them in a wastebasket.
- If your child is old enough, teach him/her how to blow their nose into a tissue.
- Do not allow your child to share pacifiers, drinking cups, eating utensils, towels, or toothbrushes if he/she is sick, or with others who are sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Have your child stay at home if he/she is sick to prevent others from catching the illness.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
Housecleaning is important when your child is sick. Every surface your child has touched has germs on it. If you spend a few minutes killing those germs with a disinfectant, it can be very beneficial in keeping you and your child healthy. Food can also be full of germs that can be harmful. Uncooked beef and chicken contain infectious bacteria, which should be cleaned immediately after it touches a surface.
The food you give to your child can also become contaminated with germs and bacteria that can cause stomach pain, vomiting and worse. Limit these problems by:
- Ensuring your hands are washed and the kitchen surfaces are cleaned before and after preparing meals.
- Cleaning your cutting board or kitchen surface after preparing raw meats.
- Cooking ground meat all the way through.
- Washing raw vegetables and fruit before eating.
- Avoiding raw or undercooked eggs.
- Cooking frozen foods right after it has been defrosted.
- Storing leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer right away to prevent germ growth.
There are germs all around us, and sometimes it is hard to dodge them. If your child is sick, achy, or has a fever and needs relief, call your pediatrician today for expert care and diagnosis.